HUBBARD Fund probe turns up no wrongdoing so far
Police will pick up the probe when the audit is complete.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- An ongoing police investigation of the Hubbard Community Fund has failed so far to turn up any wrongdoing in the loss of money.
Police initiated an investigation after receiving reports that the charity had lost money in the stock market.
James Kerrigan, fund secretary-treasurer, invested $125,000 from the fund's treasury in the stock market, which resulted in a loss of $52,000, two board members have said.
Hubbard police Detective Robert Altier, who is leading the probe, said many investors have lost money in the market with the downturn in the economy.
"The way it looks now, he [Kerrigan] made some poor investments," Altier asserted.
Altier explained that Kerrigan transferred money to a stock fund, and there is no indication that money was withdrawn from the stock account.
Altier is investigating the fund with Detective Mike Begeot of the Hubbard Township Police Department because its a community fund; and Cliff Evans, financial investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
In March, the fund's board of directors authorized a complete audit of the organization's finances going back five years.
Altier said the investigation is on hold. He, Begeot and Evans will meet with the auditor the board hired when the audit is complete.
"If there is any criminal conduct, we'll be taking the appropriate action," Altier said.
The detective explained that the charity's bylaws "loosely" describe the secretary-treasurer's responsibilities. Altier noted the bylaws are being changed.
According to the bylaws, the secretary-treasurer has custody of all the organization's funds and pays out money at the direction of the charity's board of directors.
Kerrigan did not return a message left at his office.
"What police investigation? There ain't no police investigation," asserted fund president Norma Masluk. She declined further comment.
Interviewed by police
Altier said Masluk should discuss the investigation with her vice president, Dean Evans, who has been interviewed by police.
The bylaws also call for the secretary-treasurer be bonded. Altier said Kerrigan wasn't bonded, but that is being corrected.